RAGE AGAINST THE TRANSFER MACHINE

by .

Arsenal fans are absolutely raging on a 24/7 cycle at the moment. Matt on the podcast told me he thinks we’re nearing New York Knicks levels of consistent disappointment in the way things go for our club. I could not disagree.

Old Le Grove would double down and join the thomas party. New Le Grove needs some light this summer. So I’m going on the counter here.

First thing we need to remember: Nothing has happened yet.

Emi Buendia rumours are simply rumours. Remember, the world of ‘transfer gossip’ is now big business if you want to be famous for something utterly pointless.

‘Oh, what I’ve heard is Edu wore the wrong shirt on the zoom’

‘Arsenal were interested, but slow’

‘Arsenal offered up a payment structure unbefitting of their prestige’

‘There wasn’t a good plan from Arteta’

Come on people, all of these things can’t be true, so what’s the point in raging?

Here’s what happens with transfer rumour merchants.

One person says ‘ARSENAL TO BID FOR BUENDIA’

Others hopeful ITKs don’t want to miss out so will support the rumour with blend of ‘hearing the same’ and ‘they’ve scouted him’ or the ultimate copout ‘they like the player.’

This is an echo chamber used to protect reps, but it’s not grounded in reality, because most people don’t really have good sources on transfer deals.

When everyone is saying a similar shade of the same thing, fans take it as gospel, not realising there’s a whole world of hedging that goes on in this game. I can’t even feel sorry for people, I get sent tweets from smart people ‘@Joerbill698490000 ‘DEAL IS CLOSE ON X PLAYER’… like, honestly, these are the accounts that are riling you up? Every summer, 10 accounts hoping to get famous show up with fake rumours, every summer, people follow along and get angry when it falls through.

Next up.

Sometimes YOUR taste in players is absolutely terrible. Same here people, I’ve tied my reputation to some absolute shockers over the years. Where I’m going here is this: Last summer, Arsenal fans were tweeting ‘This club is FINISHED’ when Edu tried to move for Jorginho and John Stones. A season on, how are we feeling about those taste levels?

Reuben Neves might be an unsexy signing but that doesn’t mean he can’t fit the club as a whole. Do my loins moisten? No. But look, not many people have purred over Jorginho over the past few years, and it’s clear that every manager that works with him loves him, now he’s a Champions League winner. John Stones was a joke on this forum, I’ve had one guy tweet me every time he makes a mistake for years because I liked him, now he’s a league winner and one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

Pulling players out of underperforming clubs, if done with sharp data analysis, can be a winning move. Can’t imagine too many Arsenal fans were clamouring for Wijnaldum when he was bumming around at Newcastle, now he’s out at Liverpool and he’s joined PSG. Can you imagine if we’d gone for Choupo Moting after Stoke? He just signed a new deal with Bayern. We have to give this new scouting model a crack, if the sharp people on the laptops are recommending these players, then let’s see what’s what before crying that our club is over.

Everyone keen to jump on the Bissouma bandwagon, his agent is pushing his clients’ name towards Arsenal this summer, and it would make a lot of sense. Why are Arsenal fans excited about him? Because we’ve been starved of athletes for years. We’d take power and pace over a technician all day long (not that Bissouma is just P&P), but there has to be a balance. Again, I have no idea if we’re in for him, but he checks a lot of boxes and we have a make-weight with Eddie that would suit Brighton’s need for a proper finisher next season.

There’s also a lot of slander in the system for Martin Odegaard packaged with bad business ideas.

Here are the rules for Odegaard.

  1. He’s either good enough or he’s not. If the analysts at Arsenal have watched him at uncomfortably close quarters for 5 months and there’s still a ‘maybe’ about him, we shouldn’t go back for him. Reality? 5 months of intimate scouting will tell Arteta and Edu exactly what they need to do.
  2. You don’t loan a 22-year-old for a year if you are convinced he’s good enough. Creativity is a massive issue at Arsenal, he’s a big creator, if he’s the one, we need him on a perm deal. Developing other clubs talents is an absolute no-no, because we’re either pumping his price, or we’re bringing in an uncomitted duffer like Dani C and we’ll not move forward. There needs to be an answer.
  3. Football is bankrupt the world over. This summer will mark one of the most distressed markets in history. Odegaard is gettable this season for a good price because Madrid will likely have bigger targets elsewhere. Move on him now.
  4. Concerns about impact should be very much weighed against a few things. Firstly, he had only played 300 minutes prior to joining us in January. Secondly, the Premier League is really hard to adapt to. Thirdly, he came into a very broken squad. I think there is every chance that with a good preseason and a better understanding of the league… he could blow up.

Big club buy, they don’t rent.

The final rumour I want to talk about is the swap deal for Hector Bellerin and Aaron Ramsey.

I really hope we don’t go there. 65 appearances in 2 season, 6 goals, 6 assists. £400k a week deal. 30 years old. Injured all the time. He is not reliable, his numbers have cratered, and he’s been a superstar signing that has contributed to Juve falling off. Let him go to Everton.

The one joy I’ve taken from most of the transfer rumours this summer is the players all seem be sub 25 years old. That’s how it should be. We need a squad of sharp talent that we can develop and grow with. I don’t want to revisit old movies we know the ending of. How often has going back in time worked for Arsenal? Almost never. We are bad at signing older players, really bad.

The big lesson of last season is that the younger players respond better to the way of Mikel Arteta. Older players aren’t interested because they are at the stage of their careers where they don’t need to learn new tricks.

418 Responses to “RAGE AGAINST THE TRANSFER MACHINE”

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  1. Gonsterous

    Mathius Perreira, sign up that boy, he looks really good and his numbers are very good for a west brim side.

    I really wonder what’s the plan at arsenal, what is edu and arteta discussing. Mostly keeping it very vague I assume

    Hello Edu, we need to improve this sEason

    Yes mikeal, we should get some good players in.

    Definitely players better than our squad

    Sure mikeal, any players you like?

    Yeah but let’s see how things develop. What about you?

    Yes, I have a few plans for arsenal, let’s wait for the window to officially open
    Any one in particular you want to go for first?

    Yah edu, I have one or two priorities.

    That’s good, want to tell me about them.

    Sure, let’s set up a meeting for next week and talk about it.

    Why not today mikeal?

    I’d like to reassess the squad again. Let’s talk in a week, in the mean time, which players did you have in mind

    Oh, a few, but like you said, let’s meet up next week to discuss it.

    Something along those lines, every time they meet wouldn’t surprise me

  2. Habesha Gooner

    Matheus Pereira is the next best thing out there for price, agale and quality for the N 10 role. Has been consistently good in a poor westbrom side. He is better than the rest of the targets. Odegaard or him may be our solution. I have watched him play on a lot of occasions. He is another superb talent that is under appreciated because he plays for a poor sideejust like Buendia.

  3. TR7

    I hate Jose Mourinho but still can’t thank him enough for taking Xhaka away from us. Absolutely terrific news if true.

  4. WengerEagle

    “Hector [Bellerin] has been a fantastic player for Arsenal, [Granit] Xhaka has been great as well. If it’s a matter of keeping people around for another year or so, you may as well keep hold of those two as they know the club inside out.

    If you start taking too many of those names out, who is going to teach the youngsters what it means to play for Arsenal?”

    -Words of widsom from Sol Campbell.

    Lol, is it any wonder why he has been a utter failure as a manager? Xhaka and Bellerin the embodiment of Arsenal now.

  5. Valentin

    PSG are in pole position to buy Donnaruma, they also have Alphonse Areola back from his Fulham loan. With Naylor Navas the current No1, we should try to get one from them.
    So if Leno wants to leave, we could get Alphonse Areola on loan for free.

  6. Ishola70

    If Xhaka goes for 15 million or under 25 million that’s the player power in action which was talked about yesterday.

    Arsenal want 25m for him.

  7. raptora

    Thing is that Buendia had at least 2 clubs bidding for him (If you believe the echo chamber twitter LOL).

    For Xhaka there is only Roma. So Arsenal don’t have many options in general. It is player power combined with no other suitors to spark a bidding war. That’s how valued our Swiss wonder is.

  8. Avi

    Ffs people still crying over Buendia? He was never a serious target for the club, bet there’s Odegaard and someone like Aouar before looking at him seriously

    Villa wanted him so much more and he’s got his best mate there already, good move for him, give it a rest and stop the moaning already, Jesus

  9. Mr Serge

    Avi Buendia is the new Martinez we will see his name pop up every time he plays for villa as boring as that seems, we have posters on here that will put him on the agenda that they have let’s ove on and get those cm players we desperately need.

  10. Avi

    Agree with you Serge, honestly I think its going to be tedious on here anytime he scores or assist a goal for Villa! Lmao.. That’s just the typical Arsenal fanbase

  11. Avi

    Club is probably going for one of Neves or Bissouma, I think Neves will be the one, he’s got more similarities to Xhaka than Bissouma

  12. raptora

    It depends where Villa use Buendia but if he is played in the AM position since they decided against bringing Ross Barkley in, and Buendia finishes this upcoming season with Grealish numbers (Grealish had 6 goals, 10 assists in 2200 minutes) – say ~10 goals, ~12 assists in 30 games, would that be a decent indication that the club fucked it up yet again? I’d say so.

    Of course, if we do better than bring in an even better player than no one will be upset about Buendia at all. The ball is in Arteta and Edu. Let’s see if they will deliver. Or they are going to have a 2nd summer failure in a row.

  13. Vintage Gun

    Xhakas finally off then. And if it falls through it’s because we never really wanted to sell him…

    I think he’ll end up going for £15m rising to £20.With two years left on his contract and no rivals for his signature it is what it is

  14. Avi

    I think we go for two of bisouma, neves, berg,Anguissa and lokongo

    Plus an attacking midfieder? You mean arsenal is going to sign 3 midfielders this summer? Look aa much as i’ll love a total revamp of that area I’m not sure its going to happen

    There’s also priorities elsewhere, RB, LB, GK are positions to look into

  15. Vintage Gun

    In terms of replacements, i’m thinking along the same lines as Serge, two of Neves, Bissouma, Lokongo, Berge and Anguissa

    I reckon it will be Neves + 1 (Hopefully Biss)

  16. Vintage Gun

    @Avi

    Two CMs and one AMis not an unrealistic ask we you factor in the potential losses of Xhaka, Torriera, Guendouzi, AMN, Cebellos, Odegaard and perhaps even Willock.

    7 central players out 3 in. Cuts the numbers on the books by 3-4 players.

  17. Avi

    Vintage can’t see how you can to be so optimistic of such magnitude of transfer business(in and out) been done by the club

    Edu has only managed to pay the release clause if Partey and sign the absolute joke Runarsson since he joined and now is going yo do a major surgery to the squad? Dont see it mate

    He doesn’t appear to have a spine or any kind of authoritative presence. Who knows what his vision is or what his job even is. Feels like he has already palmed off half of his responsibilities to other people. He’s almost as silent as Stan.

  18. Pierre

    Bellerin(and a few mil) swap for Trippier would work for me.
    Quality full back, with a superb delivery from out wide and dead ball.

  19. China1

    Campbell, probably my favourite ever player, appears to have gone stark raving mad

    Tomorrow he’ll be telling us how Chamakh was a game changer and Mustafi was in fact world class

    They say heading a football too many times over a career does impact the brain, anyway 😁

  20. Elmo

    Pierre

    Problem with Trippier is he’s 31 at the start of next season. He’s a one or two year stop-gap, and unless bringing him in is a certain catalyst to Top 4 qualification, we’re not really in a position to be passing up £20m in favour of a high wage, short-life asset with no re-sale value.

  21. China1

    I haven’t seen nevez much. Just watched his compilation video. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other as it’s only showing the best bits.

    No idea if he’s value for money or a major upgrade, but the video made his long passing and his ability to quickly turn and beat his man under pressure look pretty good. Looks like he’s able to turn and release a man very quickly for sudden transitions.

    Those qualities would be extremely welcome, but whether or not the rest of his game is up to much or if he’s consistently at the level we need, I’ve no idea

  22. raptora

    Two transfers in CM should be the requirement if we have decided to move on Guen, Torreira and we are going to be without Ceballos and Xhaka who played a lot of games this season.

    Still depends what we are going to do with AMN and Willock. Willock could just take Ceballos’ minutes and potentially Neves take Xhaka’s minutes.

    Basically Partey and Elneny look like the ones to stay I think.

    In general 4 CMs is kind of enough if we are going to play with 2 CMs only and 1 AM ahead of them. We had Partey, Elneny, Xhaka, Ceballos last season. If we just change Xhaka with Neves and Ceballos with Willock I don’t think we move the needle even one bit.

    We need the dynamism and athletism of an Anguissa or Bissouma to allow our full backs and attacking players make riskier passes and decisions without worrying too much that we are going to concede a goal from their mistake. It’s what has happened and why we’ve been playing like a bunch of wussies. It needs to change if we want to progress.

    If we have the pace and quality of Partey + Anguissa (Bissouma) or someone similar, we’ll be able to move our midfield a bit higher without being in danger of being shred to pieces by the likes of Leicester, Villa, Wolves, Everton, Southampton, Palace etc. In the games versus City and Liverpool it’s fine if we sit back more but we need to able to dominate versus these 2nd tier sides.

    Of course if we move the midfield higher, we’ll have to move the central backs a bit higher up the pitch too. And for that we need pacey central backs, something that Holding and Mari will never be able to provide. Gabriel has the pace, Saliba has it too. Not sure about Mavropanos and what the club will do with him.

    Wholesale changes are needed and it could have been a steadier process if we had a better Summer last time around.

  23. Vintage Gun

    @Avi

    I’m not saying thats what the club WILL do, more what they SHOULD be doing numbers wise.

    Out of Xhaka, Torriera, Guendouzi, AMN, Cebellos, Odegaard and Willock..who would you keep?
    Me? Odegaard (if the price is right) and Willock (if we utilise his strengths). The rest have to go as they don’t offer much.

    Our CM core last season was Xhaka, Party, Ceballos and El-Neny. Clearly below par and on top of that two of them will be gone by the months end (Xhaka & Ceballos). They will both need replacing.

    A CM foursome of Party, Neves, El Neny and a leashed Willock fills me with dread.

  24. Dream10

    The fact that both Leno and Xhaka, two loyal regulars, want out should be a red flag. With Luiz and likely Bellerin to go, that’s four first XI players who may not be at the club come September.

    Arteta seems to place importance on how players conduct themselves. Called Odegaard a “young leader”.
    If he’s impressed with Ø, can see him going for Berge on compatriot recommendation. In the post Wenger era, Arsenal players leaving the club are always labeled as dressing room problems and have the “wrong” attitude. And fans are supposed to take it as face value. No journalist follows up. Hope they start trend and out pressure on Arteta when (not if) Saliba is sold/loaned.

  25. Dissenter

    Amazing that some of the most ardent anti-Xhaka posters want us to sign Ruben Neves

    Why replace him with someone who may only just be marginally better?

    Neves is not even a starter fir Wolves these days, hope that deal comes apart for Arsenal’s sake.

  26. CG

    Elmo

    ””””””’Problem with Trippier is he’s 31 at the start of next season”””””””

    He is just a slightly younger version of Lick Steiner.

    We play on this huge pitch. We need some ZZ Top ””’Legs””’ down the flanks.

    Some Viv Anderson’s types.

    WHERE ARE OUT SCOUTS!?

  27. Vintage Gun

    Exactly!

    Compare a combination of

    Party, Bissouma,Neves, Elneny

    Party Bissouma Neves Willock

    Party Anguissa, Neves El Neny

    Party Anguissa, Neves Willock

    Party Bissouma Lokongo , El Neny

    etc..

    Those are the type of combo’s we should be aiming for. Four solid options to start with players like Cottrell and Azeez as backup to the 1st team squad.

  28. Dissenter

    CG
    ‘ WHERE ARE OUT SCOUTS!?’

    Your friend, Edu fired them
    Now he’s using a head hunting agency to hire new scouts
    Tell me, which technical director does not know the names of the best scouts in the business, or the best scout that can be hired to build a team of quality scouts.
    Using an agency is as clueless as it gets, the footballing business is a very small community and any technical director should have a good contact list of whom to seek.

    Can you imagine Michael Zorc hiring an agency to help look for scouts?

  29. China1

    If the unthinkable happens and xhaka gets confirmed today I am literally drinking because I’m on leave tomorrow 😂😂

    The timing would be immense. A nice whisky and a good book before bed!

    But more than likely there’s no news and tomorrow on my day off I read news of arteta desperately convincing him to see out the rest of his career with us. This is arsenal

  30. Mr Serge

    Guys we don’t know who we are getting it’s just paper talk and we are speculating i am not going to worry about it until something solid happens

  31. raptora

    Anguissa, from a relegated club meaning he’ll be available on the cheap, seriously impressed with his play.

    Read a while ago that we are interested in him and he’ll be available for £20m. It’s a no-brainer for me.

  32. China1

    Dissenter I’ve no idea if neves would be good enough. I won’t pass any judgment as I’ve not seen enough, but safe to say if he’s a player arsenal want he’s probably nothing special and another waste of money! That’s what we do best.

    But I won’t be critical of him as a player til I’ve seen him given a proper run in the team if we do get him.

    There are only a few players who have failed to have a good YouTube compilation, those being I think Chamakh and maybe Gervinho iirc.

    Chamakh had clips of him hitting the post from 6 yards out and missing sitters in his best bits. I was like wtf is going on.

    Iirc Gervinho was beasting past players then the clip would immediately cut away rather than showing the invariably fluffed pass, cross or shot (much like we saw in an arsenal shirt)

  33. Dissenter

    Okay, Anguissa is Cameroonian
    So I guess that’s off then

    Seems the ‘most cost effective midfield options this season are Africans so we may have to deal with this phobia another way.

  34. Champagne Charlie

    “Neves is not even a starter fir Wolves these days, hope that deal comes apart for Arsenal’s sake.“

    Uh, what? He literally started 31 league games this season.

    That’s more league starts than any Arsenal player managed this season. Saka was our highest with 30.

  35. Mr Serge

    You guys know the AFCON is not happening now don’t you ? We can sign African players without fear

  36. WengerEagle

    Lol this half-wit thinks that Simeone will want to bin Trippier for Bellerin this summer.

    Clueless old fart continues to spew verbal diarrhea on here.

  37. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle
    Shhhhhh

    Don’t talk down Bellerin or someone may change his mind.

    We should all send a mega hamper basket to any manager that agrees to take Hector Bellerin

  38. Dissenter

    Is copa America even going to take place this summer

    I doubt it, they moved it to Brazil, the epicenter of COVID.
    It’s so bad that even the Brazilian players are protesting hosting it at home.

  39. Almuniasaynomore

    Tony/Pierre
    Lads it’s hard enough keeping up with Kroenkephobe without you guys raising the bar further, well done though, enjoyed them immensely. I have to say I admire the posters here,who spend all day debating signings and formations,there’s a wealth of knowledge amongst them. And a hell of a lot of passion for the Arsenal,even if it is shown in different ways. Well here’s an offering for today, hope it’s not a tad previous! Dedicated to those whose minds were turned to swiss cheese over the last 5 years (Mark, you banned again? Sing this one out loud)

    ‘3 Lions’ Baddiel,Skinner and The Lightning Seeds
    He’s going to Rome
    He’s going to Rome
    He’s going
    Xhaka’s going to Rome

    He’s going to Rome
    He’s going to Rome
    He’s going
    Xhaka’s going to Rome

    Has anyone ever seen him score?
    Cant take it anymore
    Do we know?
    Are we sure?

    That Arsenal’s gonna throw him away
    Gonna make Roma pay
    But we know he can’t play
    ‘Cause we remember

    Pulling off his shirt
    A man not fit for leading
    His ego badly hurt
    His own fans he was jeering

    So many jokes,so many sneers,
    He was all our worst fears
    Dragged us down
    Through the years

    And I still see his tackles so poor
    He just jumped to the floor
    Just kept belting the ball
    And crabby passing

    Pulling off his shirt
    A man not fit for leading
    His ego badly hurt
    His own fans he was jeering.

  40. raptora

    Yeah, Trippier started literally every single game he was available in a title-winning team and has a contract for 2 more years. Simeone must rate him. He had a very strong season.

  41. Sid

    AFCON the tournament for African based players
    looool

    Oféshé lu. ayakata.
    Oféshé gbó. ayakata
    Basket mouth one start to leak again oo o o o

  42. Habesha Gooner

    I wouldn’t want trippier. He is nearly 30 isn’t he? We should just stick to signing players under 25. Especially if the y are coming as starters for us. Celik or Mazraoui are available for 15 mil max. I bet someone will take bellerin for 10 mil. That is our rightback position fixed.

    Anyway the midfield, I think the most cost effective and superior alternatives are Pereira and Anguissa. We could have them for both for at most 50 mil. And they would have major impacts in our team.

    We have been poor at picking up very good players for reasonable prices. We either go all Hollywood or we get a cheap alternative. That has been haunting us for a while.

  43. Chris

    Will be glad to see Xhaka gone, this is just my view but he should have been gone after the Palace game escapades a while back.

    Again this is just my personal view but I can’t recall disliking an Arsenal player as much as him. That’s not ignoring that he isn’t a terrible player, but he is not fit to tie the boots of his predecessors in the midfield, one of many reasons for our decline.

    I look forward with interest to seeing who his replacement is. This needs to be something special with likely significant investment if we are to change the dynamic of our midfield.

  44. WengerEagle

    Dissenter you’ve got to settle down on your one-man crusade for us bringing in African players this summer.

    There’s literally dozens of potential players that we can bring in for each position, if they’re comparable for price, age and quality then I hate to break it to you but AFCON participation will work against them.

    It’s not an anti-African bias like you are insinuating.

  45. Valentin

    Dissenter,

    I would argue that COVID finished them off, but getting into bed with hedge fund investors and vulture fund specialists and thinking that you will get the better of them is what put Athletico in the financial mess they are in now.

    Athletico tried to keep up with the Jones (Barcelona, Real Madrid) and in order to that invited predators in the house. Surprise, Surprise. Loan shark behaved like loan shark and now Athletico are butt naked bleeding in a shark infested ocean and they wonder how did it come to that.

    When making deals with those people if you can’t spot the sucker, good chance is that you are the sucker. Like a friend used to say smart turkeys don’t RSVP Thanksgiving invitation.

  46. CG

    Dissenter

    “””””Can you imagine Michael Zorc hiring an agency to help look for scouts?””””

    Zorc of Dortmund?

    The club we were aiming to follow a few seasons back?

    We dont scout anymore.
    Scouting is finding Martinelli or Rob Holding.

    Edu just sits in front of his laptop and looks at players at mid ranking clubs and calls them to see if they are up for sale.

    Eg Neves, Soares, Bertram etc

    Lazy and thats not scouting.

    (Why aint Garlick sacked him yet?)

  47. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle
    Of course it’s not an anti-African bias, never insinuated or remotely suggested that.

    There’s a justifiable cost to losing players for three weeks in the winter, I maintain that that cost can be managed properly.

    Would you pass on signing Anguissa for 10 million less than, say Neves because of the AFCON. Issue?

  48. Dream10

    Nuno set to be named manager of Crystal Palace. 99% of their squad are free agents. Good thing for Nuno is his agent. Big Jorge Mendes

  49. Mr Serge

    Diss is right why would we pass on him just because he misses max 8 games
    kT misses that every season
    Nobody says don’t buy him or sell him so they ?

  50. Dissenter

    Which country is the dark horse to pull off an unlikely stunt in this years Euros

    I’m going for Turkey
    They have all their stars aligned for some reasons and are going to the competition with a mix of experiences and excellent hungry young talent.

  51. WengerEagle

    You know that I rate Anguissa highly, prefer him to Bissouma and think that he would be considerably cheaper to buy.

    He falls more into potential bargain territory rather than massive chunk of our budget territiory.

  52. Champagne Charlie

    Going to be something if we buy Bissouma and watch him, Partey, and Elneny dip at Xmas. Willock masterclass incoming?

    *No idea if that’s accurate, can’t think of a tournament less interesting than AFCON*

  53. Dissenter

    A I
    …unlikely stunt

    I just think Turkey isn’t gettting enough mention. They’ve stepped into one of those patches where a country suddenly, has a good player in every position.

  54. Avi

    I very much doubt we’ll buy two £40m CMs just to have one of them sit on the bench. We’ll buy one of them and settle for a <£20 signing as backup, or even another loan to make up the numbers. Then there's Elneny or Torreira as 4th choice for one more season.

    We still need a RB, AM, a back up LB and potentially other positions like GK or CF if Laca goes. We're not gonna spend everything on CM

  55. WengerEagle

    Turkey are a good shout. Italians are being backed by everyone to walk the group, honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see Turkey top it. Always have a chance when you have a goalscorer like Yilmaz ahead of creative talent like they have.

    Outside of that, only really see Croatia out of the less fancied teams to make a deep run.

    France and Portugal have the two strongest squads for me, expect one of them to win the tournament.

  56. Kroenkephobe

    Any group of 4 cms for next season that has Elneny in it and not Guen or Torreira is a mistake in my book. Just saying.

    Almunia – oops you’ve done it again! Wicked flava mate! As a b side how’s about one of my favourite Arsenal oldies to the tune of John Brown’s body…

    The awful Granit Xhaka’s going to Rome to see the pope
    The pontiff is reluctant cos he’s such a fucking dope
    He’s left the Gooner fan base in despair and with no hope

    And this is what he’ll say… Fuck off!

    We’re all glad you’re leaving Arsenal
    Because your football’s made us bored
    Passing sideways and back
    You deserved to get the sack
    No penetration, technique, speed you’re flaaaaaaaaaawed….(poor old Georgie Graham’s mother by the way – not sure she ever deserved that).

  57. WengerEagle

    I do actually Avi, more than a lot on here ironically that are actually English.

    Just think that having the handbrake gaffer Southgate with his 3 at the back safety first approach will piss on their bonfire of attacking talent as well as being perennial big tournament bottlers, if a game isn’t going to plan and it bleeds over into ET or penalties they will likely find a way to choke it because that is what they do.

    If he is actually brave and doesn’t overly respect and fear the big boys, fights fire with fire and plays a midfield trio of Rice-Mount-Foden as well as benches his pet faves Sterling and Rashford for Sancho and Grealish to support Kane then I would give them a much better chance.

    But he’ll dither and faff and plug in Henderson-Rice as a double pivot vs Croatia with 3 at the back and wing backs is my guess.

  58. raptora

    Out of the group of death Germany to miss it? Jeez if they don’t make it out of groups again, there will be scenes in Deutschland.

  59. NORG

    Sid
    Fela has spawned quite a few afrobeat bands – all covering his songs. Seun has guested with Newen Afrobeat from Chile.

  60. WengerEagle

    Raptora

    Think 4 of the 6 third placed teams will qualify for the last 16 so will be harder to be knocked out of the groups than to progress.

    Germany will likely be fine as long as they beat Hungary and get a result off of France or Portugal.

  61. Avi

    But he’ll dither and faff and plug in Henderson-Rice as a double pivot vs Croatia with 3 at the back and wing backs is my guess”

    Sums him up nicely, the Englsih Mourinho, if they had a proper gaffer they’d be shoo-in for the trophy, I mean on paper they should be in the top 3 or thereabout of the best squad in the tourney

  62. raptora

    WE,
    I see. Didn’t bother reading the rules. National team games are boring as it is. Big tournaments are a good watch though. Better than not having any football at all.

  63. Dissenter

    Mancini has done an excellent job with Italy though
    He has the,mo,ayungnin un-Italian ways, which is why they won’t go far in the competition

  64. Kroenkephobe

    Sid
    I was there in 89 for 6 months. I loved every minute in Lagos and was always out. Played masses of football with some really interesting people. Never a dull moment in that town. I found people charming and really welcoming. I only went once to the shrine but I got to fully appreciate how important Fela was to Nigerians. To be fair, there were music venues everywhere in those days, and you heard music all over the place. Great memories.

  65. Dissenter

    * Mancini has done an excellent job with Italy though
    He has them playing in un-Italian ways, which is why they won’t go far in the competition

    2nd bite at the apple worked

  66. raptora

    “La Liga side Osasuna have announced midfielder Jon Moncayola has signed a new 10-year deal with the club. Osasuna also confirmed that his release clause will be €22m (£18.9m) for the next two seasons, before being reduced to €20m for the eight following campaigns.”

    10-year deal sounds so extreme.

  67. WengerEagle

    Spain are 9/1 at the books, considerably higher odds than France, England and Belgium who seem to be the three heavy favourites at 5.5-6/1.

    Still a scary team on their day, desteoyed the Germans not too long ago.

    Shame that they have that prat Morata up front than a David Villa/Fernando Torres.

  68. raptora

    Spain not being able to produce a strong CF is so weird thinking about the quality they’ve had in the last decades.

    Might as well play Ferran Torres there than Morata. Did decent for City when they didn’t have Jesus and Aguero available.

  69. raptora

    Wonder if Dortmund will sell Haaland now. In the Summer of 2022 his release clause becomes £66m which is an actual steal for a top class talent like him. If Dortmund can get £90+m this Summer it would make sense for them to sell, unless the player wants to stay which practically never happens there excluding Marco Reus. If they do sell, whoever gets Haaland becomes a force and a half.

  70. WengerEagle

    Rap

    Nothing elite since David Villa/Fernando Torres, weird all right.

    Costa wasn’t even Spanish and who else has there been really besides Morata.

    Gerard Moreno is very good but he isn’t an out and out 9.

  71. Kroenkephobe

    Sid

    The whole place was spliff-tastic. Unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale! But I can’t recall seeing or smoking anything of that magnitude. We were in a big group of people some of whom seemed quite square to begin with but everyone got stuck in. Just a hazy, mazy night of intoxicating loud music, lovely people and hundreds of bodies moving. I was a big fan of star and gulder beer too so I was pretty toxic by the time the sun came up. I think it must have been a Friday night and a game-less Saturday and, therefore, a lost weekend.

  72. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Haven’t really enjoyed Spain since Euro 2008. The striker less formations don’t do for me, especially when they play midfielder up there. I like Ferran Torres though. Has pace and runs in behind.

  73. Kaz

    Pedro

    I think the positive here is it really allows our youngsters to gain experience, we hopefully are clearing out a lot of names, we won’t be able to replace them all.

  74. raptora

    WE,
    Gerard Moreno – 30 goals, 10 assists and 15 MotM awards in La Liga and EL. What a season.
    Looking at his stats, can’t help but notice his pass success percentage – 69%. Reminds me of Alexis when he was playing for us his pass % was in the lower 70s.

    Makes you realize how this type of players take risks compared to someone like Odegaard who finished the season with 91% pass success. I much prefer risk takers compared to safety first. Of course you cannot have a team full of those, but in the AM position it makes sense to have someone who would try the hard passes. Even if he completes just 1/5 of these, that’s an assist right there. While the sideways passers prefer to give the responsibility to someone else.

  75. S Asoa

    Feel sorry for the sorry Executive from Sales. Selling Arteta Sauce for a year like he is selling fish. Nobody is buying except 3 other denuded…and now the fish has gone stale.
    Rotten situation to prop up an indefensible.

  76. Gentlebris

    G of SF/ Gonsterous/Terraloon,

    Points understood.

    But I’m very certain we have grounds on which we can compete against sudden monies like Citey.

    Outside the UK, Citey; though known and respected, have no serious followership. The players know this.

    While there is no denying that players are likely to consider instant trophies and UCL biggest stages, they will also consider play time guaranty, personal global recognition/respect and wages(we share that appeal with Citey though).

    What I’m then saying is that we have grounds on which we can contest for Grealish, especially if we show more desire than Citey.

    Players like to be cuddled and treated like kings, that’s the reason Lukaku is not leaving Inter, same reason J.V chose Leicester over us.

    So 100% if we go for Grealish and say, ‘look, king…we want to start competing for the highest honours and we feel you can be the star of that. In addition to the players we already have, we are going to sign either this or this and this or this to strengthen our platform for you. By the way, we will pay you whatever the competition are offering to pay you. What do you say, Jack, can you be the star for us in this project?’

    Then I believe the man will begin to fall in love with Arsenal.

  77. Gentlebris

    ‘*No idea if that’s accurate, can’t think of a tournament less interesting than AFCON*’

    You haven’t seen many AFCONs have you, CC?

    Great physical street football…unlike the academic robotic stuffs mostly on show at the EURO.

  78. Champagne Charlie

    Gentlebris

    I’ve seen every major football variant going. But given I find International football boring af anyway, it’s really not a leap to find AFCON lower on my list of interests, Copa America the same.

    International tournaments bore me to tears, only a pulse from the quarters onwards.

  79. andy1886

    WEagle, like your summary of England’s prospects. Agree entirely, that Stirling and Rashford are weak points, both very average at the international level.

    The other thing that people forget is that the winners of Group D (England’s group) play the second team from Group F in the last sixteen. That would be one of France, Portugal or possibly Germany. England are too dumb to contrive to finish second so if it all goes according to the seedings I expect us to be out at the first knockout stage.

    Other prediction – Kane to be rubbish and see his transfer value fall significantly (lol).